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MASTERCLASS ft. Shecosystem & Futurpreneur Canada

Emily Rose Antflick, founder of shecosystem,ca sharing her start-up story

Emily Rose Antflick, founder of shecosystem,ca sharing her start-up story

Happy Civic long weekend everyone! First of all, can I send a huge thank you to everyone who attended this Friday’s MASTERCLASS. I know you could have been either at the cottage or getting ready for other festivities in the city. I am so grateful that you decided to start your weekend with us.

When I was preparing for this week’s event, I came across a program from the first event I ever coordinated.  It was 12 years ago and I was only in high school, but it was the first time I truly saw myself as an entrepreneur. Since then my academic pursuits took me in a different direction, but I always found entrepreneurship to be my creative outlet on the side. Like other women entrepreneurs, my business began when I felt unsatisfied (and a bit frustrated) about not finding the opportunities I wanted within the structured environment of a traditional workplace. So, I felt like I had to go out and create the opportunity for myself. In some ways, being an entrepreneur has turned me into a D.I.Y. wonder woman but it has also taught me the value of mentorship and a supportive network. Mentors, in business or in your personal life, can help you along your journey by offering advice and wisdom they’ve gained on their own journey. Mentorship can be formal or informal. Your mentor can act as a coach when you need to be challenged or a cheerleader when you need a boost. Your mentor can be more experienced or even a peer.

This is why I wanted to create an anthology of stories and resources by and for millennial women entrepreneurs through Curated Life magazine.  I wish to grow Curated Life into a platform that will allow us to learn from each other’s journey. In doing so, I knew I that it would be important for us to connect face-to-face.  And so, I launched the MASTERCLASS event series in January. At each MASTERCLASS, you will be connected to community resources that will help you start or grow a prosperous business.

Introductions lead by Linda Morena, mentor-in-residence and Daniel Graham, Business Development Manager of Futurpreneur Canada

Introductions lead by Linda Morena, mentor-in-residence and Daniel Graham, Business Development Manager of Futurpreneur Canada

This month’s event focused on understanding the value of mentorship. To begin, we were joined by Linda Morana and Daniel Graham of Futurpreneur Canada. Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Their internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. During the event, Linda and Daniel explained the benefits of mentorship. We learned that good mentorship can build your confidence, add to your business acumen and provide you with an extended network. We also heard of the success story of Kailey Gilchrist, founder of NONA Vegan Foods Ltd. You can find out more about Futurpreneur Canada’s mentorship program and other amazing resources at www.futurpreneur.ca

Emily starting her talk with a quick mindfulness exercise.

Emily starting her talk with a quick mindfulness exercise.

Our featured start-up story of the month was Emily Rose Antflick, the founder of Shecosystem: a co-working and wellness environment where women thrive. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, emotional authenticity, and work-life integration. She is a versatile educator and program designer with rich perspectives on learning and community building. Emily also hosts weekly co-working meet ups with integrative wellness sessions. Emily began by leading the group through a breathing exercise and sharing a spoken word poem. When describing her business journey, Emily referred to it as a “seed in a dark place”, saying, “This is how most stories begin. So I let myself be in that dark place for a while and took the time to water myself with creativity and the things I liked to do.” And oh, how that seed has grown! In less than one year in business, Emily just announced that she has received the keys to her own space and is looking forward to establishing Shecosystem’s very own co-working space this fall. Until then, you can catch Shecosystem’s co-working sessions.  Her next sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 2nd and Tuesday, August 9th at the Gladstone Hotel Melody Bar. To learn more about how you can join in visit www.shecosystem.ca

 

Our refreshments and gift bag swag. Details below. 

Our refreshments and gift bag swag. Details below. 

This event would not be all that it was without the generous support of our in-kind sponsors. I’m extremely appreciative of the gifts they’ve allowed me to pass on to you. I would like to send a special thank you to Panago Pizza for including our event in their #randomactsofpizza campaign. Panago Pizza provided delicious food that accommodated different dietary restrictions/lifestyles (including vegan ‘za). Guests were also provided with a voucher for a free Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Cookie with Caramel Dip (sweet!). Find your local Panago or order online.

When curating the gift bags, I try to find items from brands that reflect the message of Curated Life, so every item has a unique tie. I’m pleased the share this month’s gift bag reveal:

1.       Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad (provided by Sephora Canada)

 Like a true girl boss, Kat Von D has used her business acumen to take her on a journey from tattoo artist to global beauty phenomenon.  The Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad can be used to transform your eyes through the art of colour contouring. Each quad contains a base colour and additional eye shadows to define, contour and highlight the eye. The palette is available in four colours: sage, rust, plum and smoke. The quad is exclusively available at Sephora for $34CDN. 

2.       Papabubble Toronto Handmade Candies

Established in Barcelona, Papabubble is all about artistic and innovative sweets that are handmade with love. New to Toronto, this artisan delight is made right before your eyes in their downtown boutique. The candies are made using just 5 simple ingredients and can feature custom made designs for your business or special event. You can check out the Toronto boutique at www.papabubbleto.com or visit in-person at 3360 Yonge Street (at Melrose Ave).

3.       The Body Shop Vitamin E AquaBoost Essence Lotion (full-sized)

I love The Body Shop for so many reasons (read that post here). For one thing The Body Shop was established by OG Girl Boss, Anita Roddick, in 1976. Her vision was to use her business as a force of good – there wasn’t a name for it back then, but that business model is called “social enterprise”. This year the brand renewed this commitment by announcing their mission to “Enrich, Not Exploit,” making it one of the most recognizable and innovative conscious beauty brands. MASTERCLASS attendees received The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion, which designed to quench thirsty skin for up to 48 hours.  The formula is light weight so it absorbs easily into skin and it is made with naturally-sourced hydrauronic acid. You can layer this lotion under a cream to prepare your skin for the day. The lotion is available at The Body Shop for $20CDN or online here.

4.       Holt Renfrew H Project  x  Boxed Water

In the spring/summer issue of Curated Life magazine, we discuss the importance of shopping consciously. This is because the products you consume can have a great impact on people and planet. This is why we were so pleased to learn that Holt Renfrew’s H Project has partnered with Boxed Water to replace the plastic water bottles distributed in-store. Boxed Water has a lower carbon footprint and is 100% BPA-free.  And if you’re in the area, be sure to check out Holt Renfrew’s newest location at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The 130,000 square foot store has amazing live installations this weekend which include fashion illustrations by Monica Smiley and cold-pressed juices from Village Juicery. Holt Renfrew Square One will also offer Bespoke services that include a Leather Artisan, Nail Bar and Beauty Lab. View store address and hours here.

5.       Easy Period (info card)

Recently launched, Easy Period is a subscription service that delivers organic feminine hygiene products directly to your door (bonus: each box comes with a fair-trade chocolate bar). The company’s founder came up with the idea after wishing her tampons would magically appear at her door and never run out (don’t we all have that wish? Urgh, #lifeofagirl). But, it was after researching the nasty chemicals often found in mainstream brands, that she decided to step in by establish a company that provides healthier options to mainstream tampons and destigmatize periods; empowering women locally and abroad. Easy Period donates 5% of profits to ZanaAfrica Foundation, a non-profit that delivers pads and health education to girls in Kenya. Learn more at www.easyperiod.ca and be sure to look out for a feature about the company in the next issue of Curated Life magazine.

6.       Access Community Capital Fund (info card)

Access Community Capital Fund is a Canadian registered-charity that provides micro-loans up to $5000 for individuals looking to elevate their standard of living through entrepreneurship. Access Community Capital Fund has also partnered with Ignite Capital to offer an opportunity to compete for $20,000 of business funding. The competition closes on September 2, see www.ignitecapital.ca for application details. Access Community Capital Fund can be found online at www.accessccf.com.

An awesome way to end an awesome night!

An awesome way to end an awesome night!

If you missed this event, don’t worry. MASTERCLASS events are now bi-monthly.  Save the date forFriday, September 23rd ,2016.  The topic and speakers are to be announced shortly. If you’re a company interested in learning how you can sponsor an event or advertise in the magazine, feel free to email hello@curatedlife.ca. 

Until then, please enjoy a few more photos below. You can also follow @curatedlifeca and #mycuratedlife on Twitter and Instagram. 

Millennial Women Entrepreneur’s Coffeehouse & Story Slam

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week everyone! If you’re not familiar with Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators, I encourage you to visit this website. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, organizations around the world are hosting events from large-scale competitions to intimate networking events. And I’ve decided to host an official event of my own. I’m still growing my new business, but I felt it was important to be a part of GEW by hosting an event specifically for millennial women entrepreneurs.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

Research from around the globe shows that countries who narrow gender equality gaps also achieve strong economic performance (Women's Enterprise Centre, 2014). According to the United Nations, economically empowered women improve performance, boost productivity, and increase household income; leading to improved lives for their families (Empower Women, 2015). In Canada, majority women-owned small and medium-sized businesses contribute to $117 billion of economic activity each year (The Canadian Commissioner Trade Service, 2013). Yet, the number of young adults who see entrepreneurship as a viable career path is on the decline (Cassinath, 2015). Being a woman and being young presents unique barriers to entrepreneurship. A report by the Women’s Enterprise Centre (British Columbia) states “women report more than men that personal and entrepreneurial skills are issues that are impacting their business success” (Women's Enterprise Centre, 2014). Research also shows that barriers faced by Canadian women entrepreneurs are rooted in personal, firm-related, and external causes (Women's Enterprise Centre, 2014). These barriers include lack of confidence, lack of financial literacy, limited access to capital and difficulty with business planning (Women's Enterprise Centre, 2014). Women entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30 are especially at risk because they are less likely to have sufficient business experience. And they are more likely to have student debt that impedes their ability to secure financing for a new venture (Industry Canada, 2002).

When I read these facts, it was almost like reading a checklist of my experience with entrepreneurship. This is why I want to be able to empower Canadian millennial women to start and grow prosperous businesses through a project I am preparing for 2016. But this week, how about we talk about our business experiences and dreams over coffee and cupcakes? On Sunday, I will be hosting “Cupcakes & Conversations” a coffeehouse event for networking and story-telling among millennial women entrepreneurs. The event will be held at Studio 89 Café in Mississauga, Canada. The event is free and all are welcome to attend in support. I’m also giving a special gift to the first 50 who RSVP on Eventbrite. You can find more information about the event on the official GEW Canada event page. You can also follow the #GEWCanada hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.  And of course, I’ll report back next week to let you know how the event went and what’s inside the special gift.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

References:

Cassinath, N. (2015, March 2). Are Youth Turning Away from Entrepreneurship? Retrieved October 7, 2015, from Youth Profit: http://youthprofit.ca/are-youth-turning-away-from-entrepreneurship/

Empower Women. (2015). Empower Women Brochure. Retrieved October 7, 2015, from Empower Women: http://www.empowerwomen.org/en/~/documents/2015/07/02/19/31/empower-women---brochure

Industry Canada. (2002). Financing SMEs in Canada: Barriers Faced by Women, Youth, Aboriginal and Minority Entrepreneurs in Accessing Capital. Ottawa, Canada: Government of Canada.

The Canadian Commissioner Trade Service. (2013). Facts and Figures on Canadian Women Entrepreneurs. Ottawa, Canada: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Women's Enterprise Centre. (2014). Women's Entrepreneurship in BC and Canada - Fall 2014. Kelowna, BC: Women's Enterprise Centre.